Photos by Melissa Baker Photography
Whitecourt- Wolverines start the new decade in the Scott Safety Centre for a two-game homestand versus opponents from the south division. Whitecourt headed into the Christmas break off of their first win over the Spruce Grove Saints of the season at the R&R Memorial Game and a 16-15-4 record. Wolverines have been in fourth place in the north division and look to add some distance away from the Storm and Thunder, who currently are in fifth and sixth place in the North.
This is the first meeting of the season between Olds and Whitecourt. Bryce Osepchuk just joined the Wolverines on December 20 from the Olds Grizzlys team, making it his first match against his old team.
Wolverines Vincent Duplessis would start the year off for Whitecourt in the net. Duncan Hughes would take the net for Olds.
Grizzlys opened the scoring at 8:07 when Zafir Rawji scores unassisted. Bryce Osepchuk capitalizes on the power play at 10:06 to tie the game at one, assisted by Brayden Labant and Ethan Leyer. Olds takes another penalty at 12:12, and Labant wastes no time finding the back of the net on the power play at 12:17 to take the lead, assisted by Kaleb Ergang and Ethan Leyer. Rawji would answer back with his second goal of the game to tie it back up at 2. Greyson Stewart would take back the lead at 15:02 from Bjorn Robinson. Osepchuk would add to the lead a minute later, followed eight seconds later by a quick breakout goal from Garin Butler, making it 5-2 Whitecourt to close out the first 20 minutes. The Wolverines record for time between goals is 6 seconds back on November 25, 2017 (Fastest Two Goals ? 6 seconds ? Ben Evanish and Ryan Grant November 25th, 2017 @ Calgary Canucks (13:23 and 13:29 of 3rd period)). Shots in the first period were 15-10 Whitecourt. Ben Wood made it 6-2 five minutes into the second period, from Ethan Leyer and Bryce Osepchuk. Hughes from Olds would be relieved by Casey Thomson, who would get his first Alberta Junior Hockey League start in the pipes. Thompson would turn away all 23 shots he faced from Whitecourt earning himself the Viterra Star of the Game for the Olds team. Brendan McBride from Olds would score on the power play midway through the third for a finalized score of 6-3 win for the Wolverines. Final shots in the game were 41-29 for Whitecourt.
Olds Grizzlys 1 for 4 (25.0%)
Whitecourt Wolverines 2 for 4 (50.0%)